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Residential Roof Installation and Repair: Expert Tips to Prepare Your Home for a Seamless Process

Posted on Tuesday, March 26th, 2024 at 3:36 pm    

Your roof is the first line of defense to safeguard your home and family against outdoor elements. That’s why understanding how a roof installation and repair works can help you get the most out of these necessary investments. 

Whether you need a fresh roof installation from an aging roof or urgent repairs from storm damage, here’s what you can do to prepare your home for a streamlined process. 

Understanding the Roof Installation Process

A roof installation and repair are two different services, requiring separate expertise and processes. First, here’s how a roof installation works.  

Choosing the Right Materials

The roofing materials you use are as important as the installation service quality. If you live in a hotter climate or have limited shade over your roof, highly reflective materials like metal roofs can prevent increased energy costs. Ask your roofing contractor for their material recommendations based on your home’s location and architectural style. 

The Installation Process

There are two different types of roof installations: roof replacements and new roof construction. A roof replacement removes and replaces your existing roof with a new one. A new roof construction is when contractors and builders work together to install a new roof on a new structure. 

While they both have similar installation processes, a roof replacement (re-roofing) doesn’t require builders, only roofers. Therefore, new roof construction will have a longer process to ensure it’s compliant with local building codes. 

The steps typically involved with re-roofing and new roof installations include: 

  • Initial Roof Inspection: Analysis of your roof’s physical condition (if existing) and site location (if new) with a pricing quote.
  • Material Selection: Advises on the best materials to use for your home and why.
  • Membrane Underlay: Applies a membrane layer under your roofing materials to seal your system and reinforce its stability and durability. 
  • Material Installation: Installs the roofing system on top of the membrane underlay. Methods will vary based on the roofing material type. 
  • Final Roof Inspection: Double-checks the roof to ensure successful project completion.

Always ask your roofing provider about their exact process for the service you require, 

whether it’s a re-roof or a new roof. Your home may require additional steps depending on its physical condition and location. 

Timing and Preparation

The best time of year for roof installations depends on where you live. If you live in a coastal region, you should schedule roof work before the hurricane or rainy seasons. 

If you experience all four seasons, aim to install your roof before winter to prevent snow storms and freezing ice from prolonging the process. It’s best to have a clear or cloudy day for roofers to work seamlessly.

You can also help streamline the installation process by preparing your home before the roofers arrive. Park your car on the street if possible so the contractors can access your driveway easily. Remove delicate and valuable hanging items so they don’t fall off your walls during construction.

Lastly, be available if the roofing company needs to contact you for unexpected issues, like identifying new damage. 

Navigating Different Roof Repairs

With an understanding of the differences in roof installations for roof replacements and new construction, here’s how to navigate the process of various roof repairs. 

Identifying Common Issues

While there are many types of roofing problems homeowners may face, the most common ones include:

  • Water leak damage on your roof structure, including attics, ceilings, and chimney areas
  • Sagging spots or ponding
  • Mold in your attic insulations, shingles, and sheetrock
  • Gutter clogging and damage from pests
  • Damages or missing roofing materials, including shingles and flashing

If you notice any of these signs on your roof, contact a roofing contractor as soon as possible to prevent them from growing into more severe damage conditions. 

DIY vs. Professional Repairs

As a homeowner, it’s understandable to maintain your property yourself—but you should never do DIY roof repairs. It risks serious safety and costly issues, which should always be serviced by a professional roofing contractor. Roofing companies have industry-strength safety equipment, like slip-resistant footwear and fall arrest systems, to prevent injuries and fatal accidents. 

Additionally, the damage may be more severe than you see, which only expert roofers can determine. For example, you may only notice a few broken or missing shingles. But a roofer will inspect your gutters and may find shingle granules or particles, which is a sign your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan and needs a roof replacement

Lastly, you may accidentally cause more roofing damage than the original repairs required, increasing your out-of-pocket costs. Home insurance companies may not cover DIY roof repairs as it wasn’t serviced by professionals. 

Maintaining Your Roof Post-Repair

While you shouldn’t do DIY roof repairs, you can maintain it after professionals repair it to extend your roof’s lifespan:

  • Seasonal Cleanup: Remove foliage, snow, and debris from your gutters to prevent clogging, and trim your trees so they don’t fall onto your roof.
  • Post-Storm Roof Inspections: Hire roofers to inspect your roof for potential weather-related damage after a storm.
  • Timely Repairs: Contact a roofer as soon as possible for any new damages, even if you recently had a roof repair. It prevents them from expanding into larger structural issues.

A roofing company can also give you maintenance tips for your unique roofing system, including material-specific care and how often to clean your roof.

Choosing the Right Roof Installation and Repair Partner

Now that you know the differences between a roof installation and repair, the final step is choosing the right roofing partner. 

What to Look for in a Roofing Contractor

Always confirm if the roofing company you’re using is licensed, registered, and insured for all contractors and subcontractors they work with. It prevents you from liability costs should they become injured on-site or accidentally cause more damage. 

Thoroughly read their online reviews to see if they have a successful track record of the residential roofing materials and system you have. It ensures they have relevant experience and expertise. 

Questions to Ask Potential Roof Installation and Repair Contractors

Homeowners will always have FAQs about new roofs and repairs. Your roofing contractor should be able to answer them and help you understand. 

Common questions to ask potential roof providers include: 

  • Can you provide documentation of your licensure, registration, and insurance? Are your contractors and subcontractors covered?
  • How will you protect my home during construction or repairs?
  • How do you help keep my roof construction on schedule? Will you provide updates?
  • Can you walk me through your installation and repair process? What does that look like for my home? 
  • Can you recommend roofing materials that are best for my home? Do you offer material warranties? 
  • Can you provide documentation to give my insurance provider as evidence to support my claim? 
  • What is your pricing quote for the services I need? Are there factors that may increase this?
  • Do you provide 24/7 emergency roof repairs? 

You don’t have to be an expert on roof installation and repairs. But your roofing contractors should educate you so you get the best solutions possible and know why it’s recommended for your home.